Combating desertification - enhancing resilient ecosystems

Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GC-RED)

Learn about UNDP GC-RED in Nairobi

What we do

As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.

Land degradation, desertification and drought are significant and growing barriers to sustainable development as the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation impact human health, productivity and resilience for billions of people. The Nairobi-based Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GC-RED) focuses on strengthening the linkages between environmental sustainability and human development and resilience, and particularly contributes to improving the sustainable management of natural capital (biodiversity, land and ecosystem services) in support of expanded employment and livelihoods opportunities. It also contributes to UNDP’s resilience agenda based on the long track record of the Centre in drylands/drought resilience. 

Key statistics



hectares of productive land are lost for land degradation each year globally



US dollars are lost annually as a result of desertification and land degradation



of the world’s degraded lands are found in areas with the highest incidence of poverty



are affected by land degradation, especially rural communities, smallholder farmers, and the very poor.



people could be displaced by land degradation and climate change by 2050.


US dollars

in economic benefits could be created per every US dollar invested in the restoration.